Trojan Storm Drenches Virginia 52-7


The ominous clouds that had smothered the rolling hills beyond the campus the day before finally parted and gave way to a clear late summer sky. Below, the University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium was packed with over 61,000 faithful.

Their enthusiasm for their Wahoos was as bright as the skies above. They cheered wildly as Saber rode in, leading the Wahoo football team onto the field. But storm clouds were quickly moving in to spoil the day for the Virginia faithful.

The Trojan storm brought the thunder in the form of #58 Rey Maualuga and #4 Kevin Ellison. They struck the Virginia offense and forced a three-and-out.

Next the lightning struck quickly and often. Joe McKnight sparked off a 18-yard punt return. Then quarterback Mark Sanchez went to work, hitting McKnight, Vidal Hazelton and Damian Williams on consecutive tosses. With a first down at the Cavs 20, the running game kicked in, first Gable then Stafon Johnson picking his holes took it in from the three.

Then the thunder struck the Cavaliers once again. Maualuga forced the Cavs line into two successive false starts then stormed in on a third and long forcing quarterback Peter Lalich to rush his pass. That resulted in a punt from the end zone, and the Trojans took over on the Cavs 47.

A pass to McCoy for a first down, one to McKnight for another first down, and again to McCoy to set up a first and ten at the 14. Stafon Johnson reeled off four yards. Finally Sanchez threw a 10-yard screen to McKnight and it was 14-0 Trojans.

A Trojan high pressure area again engulfed the Cavalier offence, and ended with Clay Matthews, Jr’s sack of Lalich. The Cavs were forced to punt once more from their end zone.

Once again USC had a short field made even shorter by C.J. Gable’s 33-yard scamper into the end zone, putting USC up 21-0

An excessive celebration penalty enforced on the kickoff gave Virginia their first crack of daylight and decent field position. Then three successive Trojan penalties and a couple of nice first down completions by Lalich set up a 7-yard touchdown run by Mikell Simpson around left end to narrow the USC lead to 21-7.

But that would be all the daylight, the Cavaliers would see before the Trojan cloudburst drenched the home team.

USC took the ensuing kickoff and marched down inside the Virginia two. David Buehler kicked a 20-yard field goal to end the first-half scoring with USC up 24-7.

Lightning quickly struck again in the second half.

USC started on their own 17. A short run by Gable, and a nice 13-yard catch by Ronald Johnson set up a first down at the 34. Then a quick strike to Patrick Turner, hitting him right in stride and Turner took it down to the Cavs 20. Sanchez hit Turner again on a post route over the middle to increase the USC lead to 31-7.

With the humdity climbing and Rey Maualuga on the sideline with leg cramps, both teams rolled off first downs but were forced to exchange punts.

The Cavs took over on their own 29 and rolled off a couple more first downs with Peerman and Simpson doing the bulk of the running before the Trojan defense stiffened once more.

A tremendous sideline catch by Ronald Johnson almost went for naught as Sanchez had two consecutive passes batted down at the line of scrimmage. So, Offensive Coordinator, Steve Sarkisian called for a roll out, and Sanchez threw a direct strike to Damian Williams. This time Sarkisian called for a another roll out, this one off a play action fake, and Sanchez hit Ronald Johnson on a 49-yard bomb to up the score to 38-7 USC.

Both teams exchanged interceptions with the Cavs getting the best of field position to end the third quarter.

But the Trojans got the best of the Cavs on a direct snap to the running back, Simpson. Maualuge stormed over the center, causing a low snap and slammed into Simpson. Clay Matthews Jr. recovered the fumble at the Cavs 45.

Running backs Johnson and Gable accounted for a first down. Bradford powered for another first down, but a holding penalty nullified the run. After another Bradford run, Sanchez pump faked to hold the safety and clear the way for another Damian Williams’ catch at the two. Bradford took it in from there to make the score 45-7 USC.

After Clay Matthews, Jr. tattooed John Phillips causing Phillips to fumble a flat pass, the Trojans took over once again on the Virginia 47. Second unit quarterback, Aaron Corp, took over but kept the ball on the ground. Bradford and Gable did most of the damage but the drive stalled on the ten. The Cavs took over there, but Clay Matthews, Jr. smacked Lalich once again causing the Cavs fourth consecutive turnover.

Broderick Green took the ball down to the three with Mitch Mustain at quarterback. A bad snap brought the ball back to the 10. On a fourth and nine, Mustain threw a flat pass to Wendell Tyler who pounded his way in to the end zone to complete the 52-7 rout.

When the clock mercifully ended the Trojan storm, USC had handed Virginia their worst defeat since 1987.

Here are the stats…

USC Passing

Mark Sanchez 26/35 338 9.7 avg. 3TDs 1 int

Aaron Corp 1/2 2 1.0 0 0

Team 27/37 340 9.2 3TDs 1 int

Virginia Passing

Peter Lalich 18/35 155 4.4 0 TDs 1 int

USC Rushing

CJ Gable 9/73 8.1 1TD longest 33 yds

Joe McKnight 6/60 10.0 0 23

Allen Bradford 7/38 5.4 1TD 15

Stafon Johnson 9/28 3.1 1TD 8

Marc Tyler 2/18 9.0 1 1TD 0

Mark Sanchez 1/6 6.0 0 6

Stanley Havili 1/5 5.0 0 5

Broderick Green 1/0 0.0 0 0

Team 39/215 5.5 4TDs 33

Total Yards: 555 yds.

Virginia Rushing

Cedric Peerman 8/32 4.0 0 longest 20

Mikell Simpson 6/18 3.0 1TD 9

Raynard Horne 3/7 2.3 0 8

Peter Lalich 3/-22 -7.3 0 0

Team 21/32 1.5 1 20

Total Yards: 187 yards

USC Receiving

Ronald Johnson 3/78 26.0 1TD longest 49

Patrick Turner 2/62 31.0 1TD 42

Damian Williams 5/49 9.8 0 19

Vidal Hazelton 5/33 6.6 0 9

Joe McKnight 4/24 6.0 1TD 10

Anthony McCoy 2/21 10.5 0 11

Allen Bradford 2/15 7.5 0 11

Stanley Havili 1/14 14.0 0 14

Blake Ayles 1/2 2.0 0 2

Team 27/340 12.6 3 49

Virginia Receiving

Cary Koch 3/40 13.3 0 21

Jared Green 3/40 13.3 0 16

John Phillips 5/33 6.6 0 12

Kevin Ogletree 4/21 5.3 0 9

Maurice Covington 1/14 14.0 0 14

Cedric Peerman 2/7 3.5 0 5

Team 18/155 8.6 0 21

USC Kick Returns

Ronald Johnson 2/25 12.5 6 0

Team 2/25 12.5 0 0

Virginia Kick Returns

Kevin Ogletree 4/66 16.5 0 0

Cedric Peerman 1/17 17.0 83 0

Brendan Lane 1/23 23.0 23 0

Team 6/106 17.7 0 0

USC Kicking

David Buehler 1/1 100.0 20 7/7 10

Team 1/1 100.0 0 7/7 10

Virginia Kicking

Yannick Reyering 0/1 0.0 0 1/1 1

Team 0/1 0.0 0 1/1 1

USC Punting

Greg Woidneck 2/72 0.0 0 0 37

Team 2/72 36.0 0 0 37

Virginia Punting

Jimmy Howell 8/306 0.0 0 0 49

Team 8/306 38.3 0 0 49